Summer is here! Well, Summer was here last week but appears to have gone into hiding again. However, being the permanent optimist that I am, I know it’ll appear again. Summer is quite possibly my favourite time of the year. Sunshine, kids outdoors, water fights – and of course the obligatory BBQ. Actually for us, this will be the first year that we have had BBQ food. Little Sir has never been that keen on the charcoal taste when we’ve had it at relatives, and we didn’t want to spend money out for something he wouldn’t eat. This has all changed! This year he has declared that he LOVES BBQ food – and insisted that we buy a BBQ as soon as possible. All well and good so far. But…..that puts Mr N in charge. For no other reason than he seems to think it’s manly to cook on a BBQ (outdated views and all that!!). I don’t have a major problem with it except he’s not that hot on food safety procedures. Part of me truly believes that he is going to give us all food poison with every bite. That’d put Little Sir off for life! So I knew we had to go over some food safety tips – and hopefully they’ll keep us all safe!
- I’ve explained to him again and again that, no we can’t store food in the full sun while the BBQ is heating up, and yes it MUST be chilled until we are ready to cook! Surely that’s cooking 101??
- I’ve also made it clear that, under no circumstance, must raw meat be stored in the fridge above cooked meat. We now cover all raw meat and store it on the bottom shelf to keep it all separate!
- Occasionally we’ll buy too much raw food so I’ve started popping it into the freezer to make it keep longer. Once we know we want to cook it, I’ll take it out and put it in the fridge to defrost. Another 101 surely?
- It doesn’t happen often (we love our food too much) but we do sometimes have food left over. The number of times I’ve had to throw it away as Mr N has left it out on the top of the oven all night baffles me! So the rule is, we cool it at room temperature and then pop it straight into the fridge (normally within an hour or two.)
- Mr N’s temptation is to throw food onto the BBQ, hope the temperature is right and cook until burnt. Well, that’s one surefire way to give us all food poisoning! So now the rule is that he has to wait until the BBQ is white hot, and has to be aware of the length of time each food item should take.
- Following on from that rule, I also won’t allow food that isn’t steaming hot throughout. I’m a bit of a stickler when it comes to that, but most particularly with chicken or pork – I’ve had that type of food poisoning before – never again!
- With burgers, we love to make our own from fresh minced beef. They always taste better and are so much thicker than bought ones. Even in restaurants I like mine to be very well done, but I insist on them all being that way when cooked on the BBQ. My Father In Law would always eat his a little pink – not on my watch he won’t!
I definitely think Mr N believes I take a lot of the fun out of BBQ’ing. He has images of himself being a cool chef – throwing food on and throwing it off again with little thought for food safety. There is no way I’m taking my eye of the ball when Little Sir and Little Miss are involved.
I’d love to know what other food safety tips you have! Let me know in the comments and I’ll pass them on to Mr N! Better safe than sorry!!